DACA's Reinstatement

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been reinstated as of December 18, 2020 by a Brooklyn Federal District Court to its status as originally intended under the Obama Administration in 2012.


The Supreme Court of the United States had recently ruled in June 2020 that the administration’s original attempt to rescind the program was both arbitrary and capricious. Since the rescission of DACA would have such a drastic impact on the lives of the affected recipients, it was the Supreme Court’s rationale that the administration needed to provide an equally drastic reason as to why it needed to rescind the program. It was the Court’s position that this burden had not been met. As such, it ordered the Trump Administration to reinstate the program in its entirety.


Instead of complying with the ruling issued by the highest Court of the United States, the Trump administration decided to limit its administration of the program by only allowing one year renewals and refusing to accept new DACA applications outright. This application of DACA did not comport with the Supreme Court's directive.


The recent ruling of Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Brooklyn Federal District Court put a stop to the limited enforcement of DACA. His decision ordered the administration to reinstate the DACA program to its initial iteration and restore the program that the Trump administration has been unsuccessfully trying to undo and rescind since 2017.


As a brief history, DACA was introduced in 2012 by the Obama Administration as an executive action which protected an estimated 645,000 young people from deportation. It also provides work authorization and a social security number to qualifying applicants. Beneficiaries also qualify for driver’s licenses and college financial aid while also providing protection from deportation. Although not a permanent solution to their respective status issues, the program allowed applicants to renew their applications every 2 years.


So what happens now?


The incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it plans on reinstating DACA within its first 100 days in office. Many communities are hopeful that this will be the first step towards providing a more long term solution, with a possible path to citizenship, for current and prospective DACA recipients.


In the interim, we would suggest that applicants who qualify for DACA apply immediately to obtain DACA status. You are eligible if you:


1. Came to the United States before you were 16
2. Are in school, graduated high school or have a GED
3. Continued to live in the US since June 15, 2007 to date
4. Under the age of 31 since June 15, 2012
5. and not guilty of a felony or misdemeanor.


If you have any questions regarding applying for or qualifying for DACA, please reach out to our office at sbedoya@bhlfirm.com or 201-880-9374.